Bits from Utah Jazz Draft Workout: Semaj Christon, DeAndre Kane, Luke Hancock and Travis Wear
** Have you been getting a “Thanks, but no thanks” response from the agents of the top four players?
I’m talking with them. It’s gon be tough, but I’m talking with them…With the top guys, the agents kinda protect ’em. So normally, you’re not gonna get the opportunity to have them work out against anybody. And you know, I’m finding out that, again, this year.
** What are the advantages and disadvantages to having more workouts than in the past? Do more workouts make your job easier or more difficult?
It makes it a little easier because I talk to a lotta agents and I’m able to get in a lot of players in. It makes it harder because I’ve gotta puzzle more guys into who I wanna bring in, who I wanna work ’em against. And the other thing that’s a little bit of a problem: I can have too many workouts, and then we don’t, as a staff, have enough time to get behind closed doors to talk about players.
** Are agents more accommodating when you’re willing to bring in more guys?
Yes. Because a lot of the bigger agents have a lot of guys, so it helps to bring a lot of their players in. Then, maybe they’ll give us a favor down the road with a top player.
** Third workout; has worked out for the 76ers and Thunder.
** How did the workout go? / Comment on the altitude
I feel like I did okay. I feel like I shot the ball better than usual. So, I feel like I did pretty good, if I could breathe. But I feel like I did pretty good though.
** What is it about the Jazz franchise that appeals to you?
Everybody young. They’re young. Like to play. Feel like it’s a good spot to play. The fans seem like they love the Jazz.
** What do you bring to the table?
Very explosive finisher around the rim. Get into the paint, kick out. Can defend, at a high level.
** What’s it like seeing Jerry Sloan in the stands watching you work out?
Big. Kinda nervous when you first see him, but it was fun. It was a good opportunity…I probably speak with him right after this, before I leave.
** How did the workout go?
I think I competed. I think I did good. I shot the ball well, for the first time…It was a good workout overall. You know, like I said, I competed my tail off. You know, everybody out here competed. So, it was a great workout.
** On being a slightly older draft prospect
It depends on what the teams think. You know, some teams might say you’re too old, you’re already reached your ceiling. You know, some teams might say, you know, this guy is ready to play right away. He got the body, he’s mature…For me, like I said, I just wanna get better. I don’t think I’m, you know, at my full potential, no way. You always have room to improve. You look at guys that’s playing in the league now that’s, you know, 29, and then when they hit 33, they’re great players. So, you just keep working on your game, stay consistent. And you know, whatever they think is what they think.
** On Jerry Sloan
I just shook his hand, so it was cool.
** On the last time he was in Utah (playing against BYU)
Oh yeah. That was a great game, man. I poked a guy in the eye and got ejected. You know, I don’t know. I don’t really remember that, but yeah, it was a good game to play in BYU, man.
BYU fans are probably hoping the Jazz don’t pick you…
Yeah, they don’t want me to come here. I probably, I have to apologize or write a sorry letter to ’em or something.
** Second workout; working out with the Rockets next.
** Comment on the altitude
It definitely hits you a little bit. I don’t know if it’s a problem. I feel like I’m in pretty good shape, but it adds a little something to it for sure.
** Is shooting your niche?
I sure hope so. Yeah, absolutely. You know, I feel like I can shoot the ball, and I do think a lot of NBA teams need shooters, so I’m tryna be in the best shape I can and shoot as many shots as I can…Even though I didn’t shoot the ball spectacular today, you know, I’m a shooter and I can run the floor and make shots.
** How are you preparing for the interview process?
I feel like where I went to school kinda prepared me for that aspect of it. Coach [Rick] Pitino does a great job of teaching, you know, more than just on-the-court stuff. He teaches you how to speak well and kinda present yourself. So that’s what I’m, I’m looking forward to the interview process.
** Which NBA player would you compare yourself to?
I’m gonna say somebody here. I’m gonna say somebody who shoots it well, kinda makes plays, can do a little bit of everything. I mean, he’s bigger than me. We play different positions, but Gordon Hayward, I think, plays a lot like I do. A guy who can really shoot the ball, can come off pick and rolls. Definitely, he has definite size advantage over me–he’s a big guy–but you know, I feel like we play similar.
** Second workout; worked out for the Hawks two days ago; has more workouts scheduled.
** How did the workout go? / Comment on the altitude
You know, it took a little bit, it took a little while to get used to the elevation in the beginning, but I thought I shot the ball well and I thought it was a good workout.
** What were the Jazz looking for from you?
I think they were looking for me to shoot the ball well, be physical, you know, run the floor, and see what kind of shape I was in.
** On seeing Jerry Sloan in the stands during the workout
Seeing the Hall of Fame coach in the stands watching you work out is very exciting….[It’s] a little bit [intimidating], but after you shake the nerves in the beginning, you get more relaxed.
** What do you know about the current Jazz?
You know, I didn’t watch the Jazz play a whole lot this year. I know they’re looking for a coach right now. You know, they’re losing some guys, but you know, they’re a good young team, and you know, so hopefully they could rebound.
Other players that worked out for the Jazz with no interviews made available: Wally Judge and Jamil Wilson.